Sunday 19 January 2020

Katya tells of 'hard days' on Strictly after split with hubby

Katya Jones with Mike Bushell. Photo: PA
Katya Jones with Mike Bushell. Photo: PA

Katya Jones has admitted there were "hard days" during this year's series of Strictly Come Dancing.

The Russian professional dancer (30) split from her husband and co-star Neil Jones (37) earlier this year after six years of marriage and 11 years together.

On Sunday night, she and celebrity partner Mike Bushell (53) were axed from the show after the BBC sports presenter failed to deliver during a dance-off against Michelle Visage and Giovanni Pernice.

Jones applauded Bushell's resolve, after he ended up in the bottom two for the third week running. However, she admitted she had suffered at the hands of trolls.

"You (Bushell) were absolutely brilliant about it and, no matter what, he came in every Monday smiling and just like 'Right, I have got to put up another fight'," she said.

"He was absolutely brilliant. Of course, there has been in the beginning quite a few... there were hard days, wasn't it?


"Just people saying things. So I just deleted Twitter and that was brilliant after that.

"When it's not in front of you it doesn't exist so I just got rid of it."

Neil Jones was forced to miss two live shows because of an injury, and fellow professional Kevin Clifton stepped in to dance with former footballer Alex Scott.

Bushell, who often presents sport on BBC Breakfast on Fridays and at weekends, said viewers would have to wait a little longer before he returned to their screens.

He said he intended to keep dancing and had work to do before embarking on the show's live tour.

"I'm still not going to be on Breakfast for a long time," he said. "The Strictly journey for now is not really over because we have to all go back for the Christmas special and the final.

"We have to learn group dances for the final.

"I have got to keep training because the tour starts in January and it's four weeks on the road where we are doing two dances plus three group dances.

"So I can't let up now. I have to keep in this shape, keep dancing."

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